559 Tasting Notes


This is another tea from Angel at Teavivre. Thanks again, Angel! Sorry it took me so long!

The first thing I notice as I open the pouch is a sweet, almost caramellized fruit aroma. Like a grilled peach. The leaves are very narrow and fine. Dark, dark brown. As the tea steeps, the water goes dark very quickly and the leaves unfurl to perfect little spears of young leaves.

The flavor is smooth and has a distinct sweet potato note. I also get a sort of wheat bread and malt flavor, too. It’s a very heavy black tea, but I love it. It’s very satisfying and is definitely going on my order list for Teavivre. Would be a wonderful winter tea. I think it could also serve as a good substitute for coffee.

A note to self, however: Scoop lightly, this stuff is potent! Maybe go with a shorter steep time, too.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Austin Breakfast by Zhi Tea
559 tasting notes

This was another sample from Joshua who is working with Zhi Tea. Thanks, Joshua!!

The dry leaf has a very sweet, Ceylon-like aroma. Like hay and vintage leather. The leaves themselves are little brown nuggets, some broken, some whole. The resulting dark amber tea is a strong cup. Definitely appropriate for the first tea of the day. I get notes of leather, raisins, hay, and something woodsy. Sort of like the way the forest smells when it hasn’t rained in a long time.

I can’t say I’m as impressed with this one as I was with Assam Breakfast. It’s pretty astringent, though the flavors are nice. I guess there’s a sharpness that’s not appealing to me as much. But still, I’m happy to have it for the upcoming first cool mornings of fall.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dark Wood, Hay, Leather, Raisins

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

The other day it rained after not raining for a while and I enjoyed that aroma. A good breakfast tea should have some astringency to it along with depth due to tanin. Teas that don’t tend to be flat.

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drank Assam Breakfast by Zhi Tea
559 tasting notes

My thanks go to Joshua at Zhi Tea for sending me this sample! I really like the packaging. Very elegant, artsy pouches.

The leaves are a dark chocolate brown, small, and very concentrated. Because of this, one teaspoon makes a hearty cup of tea. Of course, that makes it a very effective first-thing-in-the-morning cup. But strength is not bitterness in this Assam, as it has been in others I’ve had in the past. Even as it brews up to a dark brownish amber, it remains pretty mellow. Some Assams I’ve had in the past have a sort of sharpness to them, but this one doesn’t. The flavor is nicely balanced.

I get notes of malt, cream, and honey. Maybe whole wheat bread. It’s a very satisfying and rich taste. I could definitely see myself ordering this come winter.

Flavors: Cream, Honey, Malt, Wheat

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Another sample from Angel at Teavivre! Thank you! I should preface this by saying this is my first white puerh ever! This is an all new experience for me.

The tea itself is gorgeous — long, perfect silver leaves. They’re fuzzy and remind me of the antennae of the giant moths we see here in the summer. <3 The aroma is very sweet and stone-fruity. It doesn’t really smell like puerh at all! Just apricots and spring-like perfume. There is no mustiness or iodine smell like I’m used to with puerh. (The things I sometimes find off-putting.)

The tea brews up to a very light tan. The flavor is mild and clean, not musty. If anything, the aging process of this puerh removed any sharpness that might have been there. I get delightful notes of apricot, maybe peaches. Very fruity and smooth. Mellow and understated, but lovely. There is a distinct note of “puerh” in the scent of the tea before I sip, but nothing like that in the taste. This is truly unique (to my experience) and elegant. I highly recommend it.

Flavors: Apricot, Fruity, Stonefruits

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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drank Coconut Rush by Maya Tea Company
559 tasting notes

Ok, so this was something a little outside of my comfort zone, being a yerba mate blend. I’ve never been able to develop a taste for it.

Now, this is faintly coconutty, but it also is blended with Maya Tea’s Creme Brulee. Instead of supporting the coconut, the creme brulee flavors overpower it… but not the mate. I can tell the creme brulee is mostly there to tone down the mate. It’s strong, it’s vegetal, and it’s smoky. Like stewed green beans. As nice as the other two flavors are, and as nice of an energy boost I get from it, I can’t get through this. Nope. No thank you. This is not for me.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Coconut, Cream, Green Beans, Smoke, Sweet, Vegetables

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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I am so behind on tea reviews! Honestly, all of my time has either been spent at the office, or out playing Pokemon Go with my husband and friends. We’ve worn blisters on our feet and every muscle in our legs is sore. We literally climbed a mountain yesterday to get to Pokemon at the summit. I’m going to look like a goddess by the time we finally catch them all!

Anyway, I think I’ve said it before, but Teavivre changed the way I see oolong. Their stuff is truly great. This tea is another very tasty example. The dry leaf smells sweet and fresh, with notes of springlike grass and vegetables. The little green nuggets hang out at the surface of the water before absorbing it and sinking to the bottom. Steeped, they are long and almost all whole.

The water comes out to a light yellowy tan, sort of like straw. There is that distinct oolong pungency in the aroma, but I know it will be more in the smell than the taste. After five minutes, the flavor is light but complex. I get sweet notes of flowers, grass, and a garden right after it rains. It’s very satisfying and light, with a tiny hint of creaminess. The floral taste reminds me of gardenias, but it’s subtle. Basically, this is something that would really cheer me up in the winter when I was missing spring.

Flavors: Creamy, Cut grass, Floral, Gardenias, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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drank Creme Brûlée by Maya Tea Company
559 tasting notes

I have been on such an iced dessert tea kick lately. It’s been pretty much all I’ve been drinking at work to get my day started.

First of all, this tea is so reasonably priced for what you get. Seriously, it’s $7 for 4 oz. Of course, that’s what made me a little wary of Maya Teas, as I’m new to them as a company. So the Creme Brulee was all I bought. But the quality is actually very good! Since then, I’ve gone back and bought a few more to try.

The aroma is incredibly powerful. This is one of those teas where you open the pouch and POOF, the whole kitchen smells like sweet maple syrup and brown sugar. I can’t say much for the quality of the black tea base because it is absolutely obliterated by mapley creme brulee flavor. It reminds me so much of French toast and pancakes. Also, I should note that my husband doesn’t like tea, but he really enjoys this one. Anyway, all around good dessert tea, and I will be investigating more by this company.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Maple, Maple Syrup, Pancake Syrup, Sweet


will have to check them out, sounds tasty

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Another sample courtesy of Teavivre!

The moment I open the packet, I can smell why they call this one “Fragrant”. Wow! Bright, sweet notes of stonefruit, clean hay, fresh cut grass, and sweet potato. I can already tell this is going to be a new Teavivre favorite. Their yunnans really are something else.

The long narrow leaves brew up to a lovely reddish amber. Upon tasting, I notice that the flavor is heartier than the aroma. It has a satisfying, bread-like note in addition to the stonefruit and other flavors. The end of a sip is what tea so interesting, though. On the exhale, you really do get a fragrant, sweet smell/taste that is wonderful. I’m not sure how to describe it, exactly. It’s smooth and complex at the same time. Highly recommended.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Freshly Cut Grass, Malt, Stonefruits, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Yes, another Teavivre tasting! Thanks again, Angel!

This one piqued my interest the most. I’ve had one wild tree black before, a yunnan by Rishi. However, I found that one a little underwhelming. This tea, however, I could tell just from the dry leaf’s aroma that it was different. The leaves are long and pointed, a sort of dark brown. Most are unbroken and in beautiful shape. They smell sweet and heavily of stonefruit, especially apricots. It’s wonderful, almost like perfume.

The flavor lives up to the scent. It’s a fruity black without any fruit added, with a note of pungency that’s hard to describe. It’s almost like grapefruit? Something I encounter often in puerh that I’ve never been able to nail down. There’s also a very soft mouthfeel that I feel like I should mention. All around satifying black tea with a hint of exotic, unrefined flavor that I love.

Flavors: Apricot, Fruity, Stonefruits, Sweet

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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This tea has me wondering if I simply don’t like matcha, or if I’m just terrible at making it.

I bought the whisk from Adagio and everything. Though I might be using it too gently. I need a mentor, apparently. Anyway, I’ve been using water that hovers around 170-175F and about a teaspoon’s worth of powder for a small cup, around 8 oz. I followed the directions about letting a few drops fall in, making a paste with the whisk, then adding the rest.

On my first attempt, I tried to drink it straight. It had come out a very deep and heavy shade of green, and there was almost zero froth. It was very, very bitter. Like someone had blended Apple Jacks and seaweed. I hardly made it through the cup.

On my second attempt, I made it latte-style but with 1% milk because that’s all I had. I can see how this would be good as an actual latte. Sure, it still has nutty and seaweedy notes that are a tad odd with cinnamon-apple, it’s a huge improvement from the first time. And with the milk, it’s a very beautiful shade of green. Still, it’s just not really something I’d crave.

Flavors: Apple Candy, Cinnamon, Seaweed, Umami

175 °F / 79 °C

I can’t imagine Adagio having a very good quality matcha. I would give it a break and maybe try some nicer ceremonial grade matcha when you get a chance and keep it up until it becomes an acquired taste. I really look forward to my matcha now! I love KaiMatcha Premium but it seems to stay sold out, and Tanabata from Red Leaf is good. DoMatcha that I buy at Whole Foods is good, and there is one they sell at Vitamin Shoppe that is kept behind the counter that should also be a good one. You have to request it at our store. No froth sounds like maybe not good quality. Oh, and I would use half that amount of matcha at first. Just my two cents, and maybe it will help or maybe you just will be a fan of something other than matcha! :)

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Quiet, strange, and in love with the world of tea. Living just outside of Atlanta. Cat lover, electronic music geek, balcony gardener, and collector of fossils. On the hunt for the perfect tea in each of my favorite categories.

I prefer black teas, but I’m trying to broaden my horizons. My favorites tend to be yunnan tips, earl grey, chai, and pretty much any black tea from Fujian, China. My favorite add-ons are plum, cinnamon, sage, apple, coconut, raspberry, lychee, bergamot, osmanthus, cucumber, lavender, vanilla, cardamom, ginger, and caramel.

I’m shy about green tea, curious about white, and learning to love oolong. I hate rooibos and anything with orchid, fennel, or jasmine.

Since joining, I’ve traded with: Kaliska, QueenOfTarts, LiberTEAS, JustJames, Spencer, Ninavampi, Jillian, Teafreak, KeenTeaThyme, and RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas.

You can assume that I’m preparing my tea using the Western method. I use zero-calorie sweeteners and in the hot months, I drink my tea almost exclusively iced.


Decatur, GA



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